Sir Keir Starmer has said that “if the Tories had any decency they would get out the way for the next Labour government”, as he celebrated the party’s by-election win in Wakefield.
The Labour leader met campaigners at Ossett Market on Friday alongside newly-elected Wakefield MP Simon Lightwood.
Mr Lightwood was elected to the West Yorkshire seat with a majority of 4,925 on a swing of 12.7% from the Tories to Labour.
Sir Keir told supporters in Ossett: “What a judgment this is on the Tories and Boris Johnson – out of touch, out of ideas, and if they had any decency they would get out the way for the sake of the country.
“When we do form that next Labour government, and we’re going to do it, Wakefield will go down as the birthplace of that.”
Wakefield had been a Labour seat continuously from 1932 until 2019, when it was won for the Conservatives by Imran Ahmad Khan as part of the Tories’ takeover of ” so-called red wall constituencies across the north of England.
A by-election was triggered after Mr Khan resigned earlier this year following his conviction for sexually assaulting a teenage boy.
Sir Keir told reporters the win was a “huge result” for the party and was “absolutely” a brick back in Labour’s red wall.
“This puts us now absolutely on track for a Labour government, which is absolutely coming,” he said.
Saying that 12.69% was a “significant” swing towards Labour, Sir Keir added: “That tells you that the next government is going to be a Labour government and the sooner the better, because the country voted yesterday in both by-elections, no confidence in this out-of-touch, out-of-ideas Government.
“This is a historic by-election as far as we’re concerned.”
Sir Keir also said the Conservatives were “absolutely imploding” following the resignation of Tory party co-chairman Oliver Dowden.